Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dia de los Ninos

WOODLAND — Friday afternoon we pulled into Woodland to celebrate Dia de los Ninos — Day of the Children. We shared a booth with Tuleyome, an organization protecting the wild and agricultural heritage of the Putah and Cache Creek Watersheds for existing and future generations. Our contact with the organization, Debra Chase was a big help in Woodland, many thanks to her.

Fin hits Davis!

DAVIS — Friday, the road show traveled to Fred T. Korematsu Elementary, where we met up with Lowell Ashbaugh, the Conservation Director and President of the Fly Fishers of Davis.

"We need to take the salmon survival crisis seriously. We have talked and studied long enough. Wild salmon are endangered along the entire West Coast. The recent collapse of salmon returns on the Sacramento River is a wake-up call. Our political leaders need to act decisively and pull people together to obtain solid long-term solutions or we will lose these fish," Lowell said. "If we don't act now, we will lose salmon and all they bring to our communities and the region, including their estimated $255 million boost to California's economy."

Thank you Representative Thompson of California for helping to blaze the path in protecting and restoring our wild salmon!

Nate, Lowell Ashbaugh and Bill at Fred T. Korematsu Elementary in Davis, Calif.

Fred T. Korematsu Elementary students in Davis, Calif. want to Save Our Wild Salmon!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


SAUSALITO — On Wednesday, Fin and the wranglers went to lunch at Fish, a restaurant in Sausalito that specializes in local and sustainable seafood. We had a great time, not to mention a tasty lunch. Yum! Fish. Owner Kenny and Prep Manager Javier were jumping for joy.

Thank you for your tireless work in protecting our oceans and the delicious food that swims in them!
WALNUT CREEK & SAN FRANCISCO — Tuesday morning, we picked up Mike Hudson, local fisherman and founder of SalmonAID and headed to Foothills Middle School in Walnut Creek. Biology teacher Randy Monroe was very excited to see us, as were his students. During the course of the visit, he took a few moments to say a few words about wild salmon.

Randy plays a little rock'n'roll when he's not grading homework. Check out: Hot for Teacher.

Fin and the whole road show crew hopped across town to Rep. George Miller's office in Concord. Congressman Miller has been a good friend to salmon, and the meeting went very smoothly. Afterward, local staffers, excited to meet Fin, had their picture taken with her.

Senator Miller's Concord staffers Kathy, Adrienne and Ali.

To end the day, Fin stopped by Senator Barbara Boxer's office in San Francisco. Her staffers, came out to snap a pic with Fin too.

Senator Boxer's San Francisco staffers Megan and Josh.

Thank you Senators Boxer and Miller for your continued support in protecting and restoring our West Coast salmon!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A little help from our friends

Larry Collins, Duncan MacLean, Mark Davis, Nate Grader, Zeke Grader, Sara Randall, Mike McCorkle, Harmony Gugino, Dave Bitts, Dan Hunt, Morgan Castagnola, Bill Cassidy

SAN FRANCISCO — Monday, Fin and the road show stopped by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Association's (PCFFA) office. Some local fisherman were meeting at the office and took a quick break to step outside for a picture with Fin.

Then it was off to San Francisco Friends School, where the students were not only knowledgeable about salmon, but were ready to do some salmon activism. The classes painted signs asking Senator Boxer and Speaker Pelosi to "Save our Salmon!"

Nate told students, "We're driving this salmon across the country to ask for Congressional leadership in saving our wild salmon. Your messages here today will travel with us all the way to Washington DC."

Fin at the Bay

PIER 39 — Sunday Fin showed up for Earthfest on Pier 39 in San Francisco, graciously hosted by Aquarium at the Bay.

KTVU 2, NBC 11 and the San Francisco Chronicle showed up to talk to the Nate and Bill about bringing long-term solutions to our West Coast salmon and the communities that depend upon them. Listen to Nate raise awareness on KCBS Radio.

San Francisco is sunny, but we're getting hit with winter-like gusts off the Bay.

A great catch

The Road Show rolled into Novato on Saturday for a Trout Unlimited fly fishing clinic. Heavy winds made fly casting instruction a little dicey, but with a little windbreak in a gazebo, Bill got a chance to help Natalie Baron tie her first Wooly Bugger.

Emily, Allison and Sarah in the bowels of Fin.

After a quick cheese burger from the Grill, hit the Bay Bridge for Berkeley's Earth Day event. SOS supporters Jon Rosenfeld, Mike Hudson, Allison Kiehl and Sarah Ellen Carter stopped in to say hello.

Monday, April 21, 2008


CHICO — We didn't want to leave Bend so quickly, but the road beckoned us to Chico, California. The drive through Central Oregon is quite a haul when you're pulling a giant fish, but the sites were spectacular. Hello Mount Shasta!

We pulled into Chico and set up for the Thursday Night Market, which turned out to be a great event. More than 100 people signed letters to Congress asking for solutions to our West Coast salmon crisis — starting with the removal of the four lower Snake River dams. With the collapse of their Sacramento River salmon run, this crisis is close to home.

On Friday, we spent the lunch hour at Durham Elementary, where the second grade students have been doing studying Salmon in The Classroom.

Three women from the Hoopa Indian Tribe drove several hours to Durham Elementary School to send Fin off to DC. The Hoopa Tribe fishes from the Klamath River, where in 2002, this river lost an estimated 70,000 salmon in a massive fish kill triggered by the Bush Administration's political manuvering and blatant disregard for protecting endangered salmon.

"We have to do something — one way or another, and let's hope it brings our salmon back. This is only going to get worse if we don't do something now," Dania Colegrove said. "It's not just the Sacramento, it's all of our rivers across the West. It's killing our culture. This is our way of life, and we're losing it."

Anna, Dania and Roberta

To wrap up our Chico Adventures, Fin "migrated” up Butte Creek, along with a convoy of Friends of Butte Creek. We went as far as the winding road would safely allow, and Fin got to see her friends — the spring chinook, making their annual voyage up Butte Creek.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

SOS loves Bend!

BEND — Thank you to Conservation Alliance, Footzone, Ruff Wear, Deschutes Brewing Company and everyone who came to support Snake River salmon. We couldn't do this without you guys! Last night was the highlight of our first leg of the trip! Thank you!

The Save Our Wild Salmon team — Bill, Emily and Nate.

Teague, from Footzone and his kids, Sam and Hannah. Thanks Teague!

Liz, Nate, Ben, Emily, Krissy, Christine and Glen. Thanks guys!

Krissy and Teague after their lunchtime run.

The Deschutes crew helped Bill wrangle the FIN into her spot behind the brewery. Thank you James for the delicious brews and mustard!

Showing off their muscle.

Portland says farewell to FIN!

PORTLAND — Oregon Representative Jackie Dingfelder and Oregon Trout Unlimited Chair Tom Wolf were on hand to raise a pint in support of wild salmon at the Lucky Lab Brewing Co. Jackie said "we have to restore these salmon now for our future generations."

Thank you!

Happy Birthday Packy!

PORTLAND — We pulled into Portland Zoo to help Packy, the elephant celebrate his 46th birthday. Along with FIN, the glorious sun decided to make an appearance through most of the day. Hundreds of children and their parents stopped by to learn about saving our wild salmon and climb into FIN, while parents signed onto a letter to Governor Kulongoski and Representative Blumenauer thanking them for their leadership in protecting Snake River salmon and leading the way to remove the four lower Snake River dams.

Happy 46th birthday Packy!

Camille Lawrence, the daughter of SOS staffer Rhett, peeks out of FIN.

Crystal, Caity and Matt want to save our wild salmon!


PORTLAND — Saturday we stopped by the NW Steelheaders Association banquet dinner. Norm Ritchie, NWSA executive director, was on hand to welcome FIN and the salmon wranglers into Oregon. Many at the dinner had just come in from a day on the Columbia fishing for the spring run of chinook salmon. In Washington, in river and on the coast, fishing has been severely restricted because of the collapse of the Sacramento River fishery, which triggered the first-ever complete ban of commercial fishing south of Washington.

West Coast fishermen often ply the same fishing grounds so a significant decline in runs on any one of the major salmon rivers (Columbia-Snake, Klamath, Sacramento) impacts the livelihoods of fishermen and their communities up and down the coast.

Save Our Wild Salmon volunteer extraordinaire Jan Weihmann and her husband Joe attended the dinner with the salmon road show and were kind enough to welcome three road-weary travelers and a 25-foot salmon into their home. It took some wrangling, but Nate, Bill and Joe managed to strong arm the 2,000-pound FIN and her trailer into her concrete bed for the night. Thank you Jan and Joe for your hospitality and all of the work you did to help make the Portland stop a huge success!

This is my furry, night-owl friend Andy :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

FIN at the Capitol

OLYMPIA — FIN stopped by Washington's capitol Friday to say hello to Gov. Gregoire.

Gregoire said Friday that the "federal government must give economic help to hard-hit West Coast fishing communities." Federal officials have banned chinook salmon fishing off the California coast and most of Oregon this year. In Washington, sport and commercial fishing for chinook and coho will be cut sharply.

Gregoire says the state has been working with fishing communities, exploring job and training options. She hasn't tapped emergency spending accounts yet or declared a state emergency, but the governor says that's on the table. Gregoire is right that our fishing communities need our help immediately, but if the Governor is serious about restoring Pacific salmon, she must lead on the pertinent issue in Washington — restoring Columbia and Snake River salmon by removing the four lower Snake River dams.

Please call Gov. Gregoire and urge her to take the lead in Washington and the West Coast by bringing people together and creating long-term solutions that will restore our wild salmon and protect our fishing heritage. Gov. Gregoire: 360.902.4111.

After our stop at the capitol, we headed to Fish Brewing Company, where we talked to local Olympians about the plight of Snake River salmon while enjoying frosty pints of Fish Tale Ale.

Fish Brewing Co. has been a long time supporter of Save Our Wild Salmon because for brewmaster's and salmon alike — cool, clean water is a necessity.

Pacific salmon are an indicator of a healthy riparian ecosystem. If we keep damming our salmon to extinction, we might just do the same to another icon of the Northwest — our microbrews.

Maya Oleynikova jumping out of FIN in Olympia.

Lance and Brent at Fish Brewing Co.

Fish Brewing Co. manager Max Dejarnatt inside FIN.

Fish Brew Pub bartender Jill and her sister Gwendolyn.
Det var dejligt at mode dig i gar! Undskyld for skrive i dansk, men jeg kun tale dansk.

Raising a pint at Pike in support of salmon!

SEATTLE — More than 100 people, including commercial and sport fishermen, chefs and local salmon advocates, showed up to raise a pint in support of wild salmon and kick off the Save Our Wild Salmon National Road Show. The event at Pike Brewing Company coincided with the final Pacific Fishery Management Council's decision to completely shut down the commercial fishery south of Washington. This year our wild salmon and coastal communities desperately need our support and action.

Last year four Snake River sockeye made it home to their mountain spawning grounds at Redfish Lake in Idaho. Four fish. This year the collapse of the Sacramento River is another example of our desperate need for leadership in protecting our natural resources. Our salmon are disappearing from our rivers and our fishing communities are in crisis. The federal government has mismanaged our watersheds for decades and we've seen years of rolling blackouts up and down the West Coast. Now is the time for action — we must save our wild salmon now, or lose them forever. So we're heading down the coast sounding the alarm with a 25-foot salmon.

In Washington, we need Senators Murray and Cantwell to take the lead in the Senate. The federal government wants to continue to spend billions of public dollars on ineffective, illeagal plans that won't protect our salmon. Lower Snake River dam removal is one part of a solution that can save our endangered salmon as well as protect our fishermen, farmers and regional ratepayers. Senators Murray and Cantwell, we are calling on you to bring people together and help us craft a solution that works for the whole region.

Call Senators Murray and Cantwell and urge them to save our wild salmon today! Senator Maria Cantwell: 202.224.3441 Senator Patty Murray: 202.224.2621

Thank you to those who helped send FIN out of Seattle!
Chef Ethan Stowell of Union, Chef Kevin Davis of Steelhead Diner, Chef Craig Heatherington of TASTE at SAM for the delicious salmon dishes; Pike Brewing Co. owners Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, Pike general manager Drew Gillespie; Amy Grondin; Seattle Slow Food; Seattle Chefs Collaborative; Seafood Producers Cooperative for donating the wild coho salmon to the chefs and Plitt Company for donating wild smoked salmon; Chinook Winery for donating the wine.

Special thanks to our good friend Joel Kawahara, a Washington troller, who has worked tirelessly on this campaign to restore wild salmon to the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

On the road!

Save Our Wild Salmon National Road Show Kicks off in Seattle.

Save Our Wild Salmon, a national coalition of conservation organizations, commercial and sportfishing associations, businesses, river groups and taxpayer advocates, hit the Seattle streets yesterday with a kick-off at Westlake Center. Traveling 10,000 miles through 20 states, the Wild Salmon Road Show bring attention to the plight of endangered wild salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest, and build support for removing the four lower Snake River dams in Washington State.

We have an emergency on our hands, and it is a coast-wide problem. From the Sacramento to the Klamath, to the Columbia-Snake River Basin in the Pacific Northwest, our native fish populations are in crisis due to federal mismanagement of our natural resources, and this administration’s blatant disregard for the Endangered Species Act, which is supposed to protect these fish. We are driving across the country to sound the alarm that West Coast salmon and communities need our help now!

The collapse Sacramento River fishery this year is one more example of a critical natural resource in desperate need of leadership. Across the coast — in California, Oregon and Washington — our largest and most important watersheds are in dramatic decline. It is no accident that both our salmon stocks and our coastal communities are struggling for survival. We need Congressional oversight to ensure that federal agencies uphold the law and ensure that they develop policies based on the best scientific and economic information.

The federal government has failed miserably. We need Congressional leadership across the coast and the country, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, to ensure that the upcoming Federal Salmon Plan for the Columbia and Snake Rivers will finally protect and restore wild salmon and steelhead to healthy, abundant and sustainable populations. Billions of public dollars have been wasted over the last two decades while populations have continued to plummet toward extinction.

Science shows dam removal is essential to the recovery of Columbia Basin salmon runs, which will become even more important as global warming and other environmental factors impact West Coast salmon runs. Salmon from Washington, Oregon and California ply the same West Coast fishing grounds so a major decline in runs on one of these major salmon rivers in any given year impacts the livelihoods of fishermen up and down the coast.

Ultimately, these issues and our policy decisions today are about our communities and the values we hold as a region and nation. This salmon is here today to represent an iconic symbol of the American West and remind everyone that when we speak about environmental protection and species like Snake River salmon, we are also talking about a national treasure that provides us with good jobs and healthy food.

Congress has the power to put us on the path to recovery — one that includes stable jobs, clean, affordable energy, good fishing, abundant salmon, and places in the outdoors for our families to enjoy.

Each individual we can reach who appreciates what we have in wild Pacific salmon represents a potential advocate for the healthy habitat, healthy rivers and access to spawning grounds wild salmon and steelhead need in order to thrive.

We know America is full of salmon and steelhead champions, and we look forward to meeting as many of you as possible through this tour.

If you can't join us in person, I hope you'll check back in regularly, and follow our journey online.